DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (Dole) authorities recently reported that around 187 employers have violated the minimum wage law in the region.

DOLE-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Director Ana Dione said nonpayment of minimum wage still ranked first among the violations of employers particularly in the central business district of Baguio since the agency started inspections January until July this year.

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Dione said of the 244 businesses inspected, around 77 percent or 187 are not complying with existing basic pay and other benefits regulations.

Of these 187 violators, she said around 67 percent or 126 business owners voluntarily complied with the warning sent by Dole to pay exact wages and benefits to their employees.

Meanwhile, those who did not take heed of the department’s warning were issued orders for compliance.

Around 39 business owners and companies so far have been issued this order but Dione said only 21 percent of them complied.

In an interview, Dione said most of these businesses are small businesses with only a few employees.

After receiving, reports and complaints from laborers and employees about their experiences of unfair labor practices, Dione said the agency has since been mapping delinquent employers.

Among violations they have discovered were non-payment and underpayment of minimum wages, no payment of 13th month, overtime and holiday pays and other violations of the labor code.

The regular minimum daily wage of companies employing more than 10 employees is P260 and P240 for those with less than 10 employees.

Dione added there are other businesses like security agencies, retail shops, food stalls and construction firms which are not paying their laborers based on the standards set by the agency.

The regional director said they have been computing unpaid wages and give them to delinquent employers for compliance.

She added service-oriented businesses are also main violators of labor standards citing that many of the laborers are not given contracts and security of tenure in most private companies in the city.

Moreover, the regional director said last year alone, the Dole registered around an 18.9 underemployment rate in the Cordilleras.

She said many of the city’s laborers prefer to be underemployed and underpaid than not have jobs at all.

“Some would prefer a regular job than risk not having a job at all considering the hard times many of them have been experiencing,” she said.(JM Agreda)